Calisthenics for beginners 


There's a good chance you have heard of calisthenics but what is it? and what does it mean?


Calisthenics can be translated into ‘strength’ and is generally thought of as the mastery of bodyweight movements to improve health, strength, and physical appearance.


People who do flag poses or perform some sort of cool bodyweight movement on a metal rig are your initial thoughts when calisthenics is brought up. But the reality is those individuals performing these movements are impressive but not the starting point you need. 


Those feet of strengths that enable individuals to perform impressive exercises also have a starting point that you most likely haven't seen. Peoples starting points are often overlooked or not as eye catching, therefore it is less likely to have a greater outreach. 


During calisthenics, the goal is not too isolate muscle groups or even to target muscle groups but the result of mastering certain movements will result in strengthening particular muscle groups and surrounding joints. 


So what areas are most emphasized during calisthenics? 


The Core. Without a strong and stable core, your efficiency during movement will significantly decrease. 


The Lower Body. Having strong muscles within the lower body such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes in combination with functioning ankle and hip joints will allow you to progress at all calisthenics lower body movements. 


The Back muscles and strong forearms will be needed to achieve the long term goal of the more advanced calisthenic movements. Grip strength during bar work will be a necessity to help you progress further. 


 The shoulders will take a lot of work during calisthenics as anything upper body related will involve the shoulder so it's important to build these to adequate strength levels. 


So where to start with calisthenics?


Ultimately, calisthenics is mastery of bodyweight and your bodyweight training journey doesn't have to involve exercises that are currently out of reach. More advanced exercises can be a long term goal but there are basic bodyweight movements that are the underpinning and foundation to the long term goals you may have. 


Keep in mind that a lot of bodyweight movements don't need equipment but if your goal is calisthenics related then investing in a pull up bar will help a lot. 


Master these exercises 


Push Up 


Single-Leg Squat 


Chin Up


Military Push Up










Calisthenics isn't about isolating muscle groups so to speak and even though training and mastering bodyweight movement will help you to be physically fitter and look better, most movements are compound based focusing on getting the most out of the least. Therefore, don't overthink your training split or program, pick some basic movements like the ones above, master them, and overtime time gradually progress onto harder movements.